Facebook Messenger gets quoted replies to keep chats organized

Facebook has pushed out a Messenger update that makes it easier to keep track of the messages each user is responding to. The new ability essentially brings threaded messages to the chatting app, which in this case means replies that quote and respond directly to a previous message. These direct replies support GIFs, emoji, images, and other media in addition to text.

Message replies are a feature offered in many messaging apps, though it appears to be most popular on platforms that target productivity and enterprise users rather than one-on-one and personal chatting apps. To use the feature, a Messenger user merely long-presses on a message in the chat log and then selects "Reply."

Direct replies to messages will appear in the chat thread as usual, but with the original message quoted in smaller grey text. This enables other users in the chat to see which message the user was replying to, and is particularly welcomed in group chat or times when conversations are moving quickly.

According to Venture Beat, which first spied the new feature, direct replies support text, images, emoji, videos, and GIFs. This is the latest of multiple features Facebook has introduced in Messenger over recent months, including the hotly anticipated 'unsend' option, which gives users a brief period of time in which they can recall messages.

Facebook Messenger users also recently gained the ability to see their friends' Messenger Stories directly inside a chat threat. It's unclear whether Facebook plans to introduce this message reply feature on WhatsApp and Instagram, as well. The update is available for Android and iOS now.